Torrens to Challenge Trump Tariffs
Vows to fight to protect citrus industry and its workers when elected
Tampa, Fla. – June 26, 2018– Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General Ryan Torrens vowed to take the Trump administration to court to protect Florida’s citrus industry and its workers from the devastating economic impact of a 25 percent tariff on orange juice many countries are imposing in retaliation to the trade war President Trump ignited by imposing tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports.
Torrens, a Tampa consumer protection attorney, said Trump exceeded his constitutional authority in imposing steel and aluminum tariffs. Torrens explained that Trump acted unilaterally under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that permits such executive action only for national security purposes – but the president’s real reason for imposing the tariffs wasn’t about a national security threat but was done for the economic purpose of reducing the U.S. trade deficit. Thus, the tariff required congressional approval, Torrens said. He added that Trump’s spokespersons have repeatedly cited economic reasons to explain the president’s decision.
“The Trump administration jeopardized Florida’s citrus industry by failing to anticipate that foreign countries would retaliate if he abruptly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs,” said Torrens. “And of course, those countries would retaliate by imposing new tariffs in a way that would be sure to be felt by everyday U.S. working people.” That’s just what happened, Torrens added, as China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union just announced they will impose a 25 percent tariff on various U.S. products including Florida’s world-famous orange juice.
“President Trump’s ill-considered action has brought about a double devastation to Florida’s huge and world famous citrus industry,” Torrens said. “Hurricane Irma destroyed over 70 percent of our state’s citrus crop. That caused Florida’s citrus industry, one of our state’s largest employers, to suffer one of its worst harvest seasons since World War II. Now, because the president suddenly imposed his tariffs despite the obvious retaliatory consequences, Florida’s citrus industry workers are about to be slammed by a second devastating blow. This one was caused by man, not nature, and was sadly avoidable.
“I promise that, upon assuming office as your next attorney general, I will fight for Florida’s citrus workers and all Floridians by mounting a legal effort to undo the damage Trump’s trade war triggered."
Torrens added: “Every year, Florida ships 12 million gallons of orange juice overseas. This is not an issue that divides Floridians along political party lines. We all recognize that on this issue we must act decisively to do what is best for our state and our working people. On this issue, Floridians are surely united in protecting our citrus industry’s growers and workers. This means we must roll back the tariffs that triggered this trade war that was the obvious consequence of our president’s action.”
Torrens has been campaigning across the State of Florida, all the while fighting for his clients as a consumer protection lawyer. He says that he is running to put the Attorney General’s office back on the side of consumers again.
You can find more about Ryan Torrens and his campaign at www.RyanTorrens.com.